What Needs to Happen for New England Patriots to Have AFC East's Best Defense

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What Needs to Happen for New England Patriots to Have AFC East's Best Defense
Elsa/Getty Images

The New England Patriots managed to punch a ticket to Super Bowl XLVI, despite having the 31st ranked defense in the NFL. Other AFC East teams fared better on the defensive side of the ball, but no divisional foe clinched a playoff birth in 2011.

In order for the Patriots' D to become the best in the AFC East next season, improvements must be made on the line of scrimmage up through the secondary.

Unfortunately, history shows that this will not come easy.

New England's defense hasn't ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed since 2008, according to NFL.com data.

For years, the Pats have been carried by the offense. The key to a thriving offense is a stalwart defense.

To be the most potent defense in the division, the following plans must come to fruition for the Patriots in 2012.

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